Music BMus (Hons) – 2018 entry

Why choose this course

Surrey is one of the UK's leading universities for Music, with our programmes ranked second by the Guardian University Guide 2018. This programme achieved 100 per cent overall satisfaction in the National Student Survey (NSS) 2017.

Our Music degree reflects the diversity of contemporary musical experience and the rich variety of music as an art form.

You will encounter a huge range of music and music-making, thus gaining insight into how you might wish to develop as a musician.

What you will study

Our programme offers you a high standard of academic, compositional and instrumental/vocal tuition in a uniquely broad range of styles. You will participate in a thriving performance and composition environment and have opportunities to work with a wide range of professional artists and practitioners.

We have excellent performance, recording and learning facilities and you will be able to discuss the latest ideas with visiting leading composers, performers and scholars.

As a BMus student at Surrey you will work closely with students of the world-famous Tonmeister Music and Sound Recording programme and with those following our Creative Music Technology degree. Together, these three programmes provide a unique environment to study contemporary and professional music industry practice.

We are distinctive in pursuing all these fields in our teaching and research, resulting in a highly stimulating environment for undergraduate musicians as scholars, performers, composers and future decision makers in the arts.

Performance, composition and the academic study of music have equal status in our Music degrees, which makes them well suited to those aspiring to a professional career in any area of the music industry. 

Our curriculum is structured so that almost any musical activity with which you might want to engage can receive credit, and all disciplines are equally valued.

Our three-year BMus degree explores musical repertoires past and present through integrated studies in classical/popular musicology, composition and performance, with emphasis on cultural issues, theory and analysis, music technology and practice-based learning. 

Our four-year BMus degree includes core components in arts management issues and cultural policy-making. This programme is unique in offering a Professional Training placement and is designed for students who wish to gain experience in music management or administration.

The range of subjects is especially broad. Western classical music, jazz and popular music form the backbone of historical and analytical studies, but modules in non-Western music, music technology and screen music are also available.

In your second and final years you may specialise in performance/conducting, composition or musicology.

The result is a highly stimulating environment for undergraduate musicians, whether you are interested in performance, composition, musicology, music technology or the music industry.

Read about the experience of Music student Kirsten Parry.

Course facts

Qualification Course length Professional Training UCAS KIS code
BMus (Hons) 36 months W300 View KIS data set
BMus (Hons) 48 months W301 View KIS data set

Professional Training placements

As part of this course you have the option to complete a Professional Training placement. These will give you the opportunity to develop your professional, academic and personal potential, equipping you to be adaptable, resilient, globally minded, confident, entrepreneurial and digitally savvy in the workplace. These qualities are widely recognised by employers and a significant proportion of placement students at Surrey are offered graduate-level jobs or go onto postgraduate study.

Find out more about Professional Training placements and discover how these have transformed our students’ lives and career choices.

Music placements

The third year of our four-year Music (W301) degree programme is spent away from the University, working in a professional role for major arts and music organisations. The senior Professional Training tutor will work with you to prepare you for the placement period and will help you choose and organise an appropriate placement and host organisation.

Types of placement are varied and can take place anywhere in the country, although many are London-based. Recent students have worked in areas such as:

  • Music management and administration
  • Concert management
  • Music education
  • Marketing
  • Music publishing
  • Venue management
  • On and offline record labels
  • Music retail

Organisations/companies that have participated in the scheme include:

  • London Symphony Orchestra
  • Royal Opera House
  • Schott Music Publishing
  • London Philharmonic Orchestra
  • South Hill Park Arts Centre
  • HMV
  • Royal School of Church Music
  • Orchestra of St Johns (OSJ)
  • Faber Music Publishers
  • Sherriff Rosebriars Trust
  • State 51
  • The Point
  • Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
  • Signum Records
  • The Drill Hall

Applying for placements

Professional Training placements are usually applied for and secured via an open and free-to-all process, within which students can select and apply for numerous opportunities. Placement providers use their own recruitment and selection procedures and the majority of students will secure their placement in this way. However, support is also provided to students wishing to source their own placement, subject to university requirements being met.

Students are generally not placed by the University, however they are given thorough support and guidance alongside access to a vacancy portal representing thousands of placement opportunities each year. Please be aware there may be travel costs incurred when attending interviews and assessment centres at the placement provider’s premises.

Careers and graduate prospects

We offer careers information, advice and guidance to all students whilst studying with us, which is extended to our alumni for three years after leaving the University.

Our graduate employment record is excellent. The breadth of experience gained on our programmes equips graduates with numerous transferable skills and an invaluable sense of initiative and adaptability.

You will find our graduates in almost every area of work within the cultural and creative industries. Graduates over the last few years entered employment in roles such as:

  • Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, Theory Assistant
  • Royal Opera House, Musical Play Leader
  • London Symphony Orchestra, Discovery Schools Project Co-ordinator
  • Musical Associates UK, Box Office Manager
  • Warner Music UK, SLC Co-ordinator
  • Christchurch Cathedral, Teacher and Lay Clerk
  • Wigmore Hall, London, Learning Assistant
  • University sector, Arts Co-ordinator
  • Schott/Faber, Music Publisher
  • Music Producer, Kylie Minogue, Ellie Goulding, Lady Gaga, Timbaland, Katy Perry, Cheryl Cole
  • Signum Records, Label Manager

Study and work abroad

We give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities or by completing a Professional Training placement abroad. In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV. Visit our global exchanges pages to check where you can go.

You have the opportunity to spend one or two semesters abroad on study placements at institutions such as:

  • University of Cincinnati
  • University of Central Florida
  • North Carolina State University
  • University of North Texas
  • Monash University
  • University of Sydney
  • Brock University
  • Victoria University, Wellington

Thanks to your experience overseas, you will acquire a new cultural background which will contribute to your success whether in your studies or in your professional career.


Discover the range of facilities available to our students on our School facilities pages.

Performance opportunities

Opportunities in the Department of Music and Media include:

  • University Symphony Orchestra
  • University Choir
  • Gospel Choir
  • Chamber Choir
  • Chamber Orchestra
  • University Big Band
  • Numerous chamber ensembles
  • Music ensembles.

Artists, composers and ensembles who have recently visited for concerts and masterclasses include:

  • Mark Anthony Turnage
  • Nikolai Demidenko
  • Nicola Benedetti
  • Notes Inégales
  • John Williams
  • Paco Pena
  • The Delta Saxophone Quartet
  • Graham Fitkin
  • Dame Judith Weir
  • Harry Gregson-Williams
  • Tasmin Little.

The Department holds a weekly lunchtime recital series featuring student performers and several larger concerts each semester. It also hosts regular performances by visiting professional artists.

There are numerous opportunities for performing outside official University groups such as at the Guildford International Music Festival, which is run by the Department.


Learn more about music at Surrey on our dedicated Music at Surrey Twitter account.

Academic year structure

The academic year is divided into two semesters of 15 weeks each. Each semester consists of a period of teaching, revision/directed learning and assessment.

The University operates a credit framework for all taught programmes based on a 15-credit tariff. All taught modules are 15 credits. Project modules and dissertation modules can be either 15, 30, 45 or 60 credits.

The structure of our programmes follows clear educational aims that are tailored to each programme. These are all outlined in the programme specifications which include further details such as the learning outcomes.


Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that modules may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.


Timetables are normally available one month before the start of the semester. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week (Monday–Friday). Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities. Part-time classes are normally scheduled on one or two days per week, details of which can be obtained from the course administrators.


On our degree programmes, you will attend a mixture of lectures, seminars, workshops and tutorials. All are encouraged to participate in the many practical performance opportunities on offer. These include choirs, orchestras, student-run ensembles, weekly lunchtime recitals, concerts of student compositions, masterclasses and recording sessions.

Many students start up their own chamber ensembles and rock/pop groups. Short modules on computing skills for music are also available, and access to a range of specialised online music archives and materials are provided.

There may be occasions when the delivery of your teaching is supported by postgraduate research students. The University has a set of procedures that govern the use of postgraduate research students in this way.


This course is taught by academic staff from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

Programme leader

MARK CM Dr (Music & Med)

Personal tutor

All taught students are assigned a personal tutor before beginning a programme of study. Personal tutors offer support and advice to students in the areas of:

  • Academic progress
  • Pastoral/welfare issues
  • Personal/professional development and employability.


Modules are assessed individually and credits are awarded for the successful completion of each one. Assessment takes place through a combination of examination and/or coursework, practical examinations and reports. Check individual module information to see full details at a module level.

Contact hours

Contact hours can vary across our modules. Full details of the contact hours for each module are available from the University of Surrey's module catalogue. See the modules section for more information.

Policies and regulations

Please refer to our academic regulations and student policies and regulations. These may be amended from time to time.

Learning and disability support

We have two services, the Student Personal Learning and Study Hub (SPLASH) and Additional Learning Support (ALS) which can help develop your learning.

Student Personal Learning and Study Hub

SPLASH is a learning space in the Library where our learning development team is based. It comprises dedicated Student Learning Advisers and Information Skills Librarians who can help you develop your academic and research skills, including writing, presenting, revision and critical thinking.

Find out more about the study support available.

Additional Learning Support

ALS is the University’s disability and neurodiversity service which supports students with disabilities, long-term health conditions, specific learning differences (for example: dyslexia and dyspraxia) and other neurodiverse conditions (for example: autism spectrum and attention deficit disorder).

If you have a disability, we encourage you to disclose your condition and register with the service so you can be appropriately supported during your studies.

The ALS team can arrange exam and learning support adjustments, give advice on applications for the Disabled Students' Allowance and screen students for dyslexia and dyspraxia. Regular study skills and mentoring support is also available.

See the Additional Learning Support website for more information.

What qualifications do you need?


Overall: ABB.

Required subjects: Music. Applicants taking an A-level science subject with the Science Practical Endorsement are required to pass the practical element.

Please note: A-level General Studies and A-level Critical Thinking are not accepted.

GCSE or equivalent: English Language at Grade C(4) and Mathematics at Grade C (4) (or equivalent). 

BTEC (QCF Level 3) Extended Diploma

Overall: DDD.

Required subjects: Please contact us to discuss suitability.

GCSE or equivalent: English Language at Grade C(4) and Mathematics at Grade C (4) (or equivalent).

International Baccalaureate

Overall: 32. 

Required subjects: Music HL5/SL6. If Music not taken in IB, please contact us to discuss suitability.

GCSE or equivalent: English HL/SL4 and either Maths or Maths Studies HL/SL4. 

European Baccalaureate

Overall: 78%.

Required subjects: Music with at least 7.5. If Music not taken in EB, please contact us to discuss suitability.

GCSE or equivalent: Maths 6 and either English Language (1/2) 6 or English Language (3)7. If Music not taken in EB, please contact us to discuss suitability.

Access to HE Diploma

Overall: 45 Level 3 credits overall including 30 at Distinction and 15 at Merit.

Required subjects: Please contact us to discuss suitability.

GCSE or equivalent: English Language and Mathematics at Grade C(4) (or equivalent).

Scottish Highers

Overall: AABBB.

Required subjects: Music.

GCSE or equivalent: English Language: Scottish National 5 - C Maths - Scottish National 5 - C. 

Welsh Baccalaureate

Overall: Pass overall with ABB from a combination of the Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate and two A-levels.

Applicants taking an A-level science subject with the Science Practical Endorsement are required to pass the practical element. 

Required subjects: A-level Music.

GCSE or equivalent: English Language and Mathematics at Grade C(4) (or equivalent).

Science Practical Certificate

Applicants taking the Science Practical Endorsement are required to pass.

Other international qualifications

If you are an international student and you don’t meet the entry requirements to this degree, we offer the International Foundation Year, run by the Surrey International Study Centre.

Select your country

English language requirements

IELTS Academic: 6.5 overall with 6.0 in each element.

View the other English language qualifications that we accept.

If you do not currently meet the level required for your programme, we offer intensive pre-sessional English language courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here. The University of Surrey is also an IELTS test centre.

Selection process

Candidates are shortlisted according to predicted grades and their overall music profile.

Shortlisted candidates will be invited to an interview day and offers will be made soon after that.

Recognition of prior learning

The University of Surrey recognises that many students enter their higher education course with valuable knowledge and skills developed through a range of professional, vocational and community contexts. If this applies to you, a process called recognition of prior learning (RPL) may allow you to enter your course at a point appropriate to your previous learning and experience, or to join the start of a course without the formal entry requirements. This means that you may be exempt from certain elements of study in the course for which you have applied and be awarded credit based on your previous qualifications/experience. There are restrictions on RPL for some courses and fees may be payable for certain claims. 

Please see the Code of practice for recognition of prior learning and prior credit: taught programmes (PDF) for further information. Please email Admissions with any queries.


Qualification Course length Professional Training UK/EU fees Overseas fees Professional Training fees
BMus (Hons) 36 months £9,250 £17,500 Not applicable
BMus (Hons) 48 months £9,250 £17,500 £1,800

View a complete listing of all ongoing fees for our undergraduate courses.

The University will assess your fee status. If you are unsure whether you are likely to be considered a home, EU or overseas student for fees purposes, the UKCISA website offers more information.

Professional Training placement fees

Programmes marked with a tick in the table above include a Professional Training placement.

A reduced fee is charged for Professional Training placements.

Fees will not have to be paid up front for those eligible students who decide to take up the Government's loan for higher education fees. The Professional Training placement is a key factor in the high employability rates achieved by students with Surrey degrees.

How to apply

Learn how to apply for an undergraduate course, see details about the UCAS application process and determine the steps you need to take if you receive an offer to study.

Admissions information

Our undergraduate admissions policy provides the basis for admissions practice across the University and gives a framework for how we encourage, consider applications and admit students.

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